Last week, we counted down our most anticipated TV shows of the rest of the year. But if you actually want to leave your apartment this fall, we've got you covered: below, we've compiled a list of the most exciting-looking movies coming out over the rest of 2018.
That includes a few action blockbusters (The Predator, Venom, Overlord), some auteur-driven horror movies (Bad Times At The El Royale, Halloween, Suspiria), crowd pleasers (Creed II, Bohemian Rhapsody, Widows), your requisite indie flicks (I Think We're Alone Now, Mid90s, Can You Ever Forgive Me?), artsy experiments (The Favourite, Roma, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs), Oscar favorites (First Man, A Star Is Born, Mary Queen of Scots) and at least one film with Nicolas Cage in "full freakout" mode (Mandy) that you'll definitely want to go see in theaters.
THE PREDATOR (Sept. 14th): From Death Wish to Overboard, Hollywood has a sado-masochistic fetish for remaking old movies into something much, much worse. So why should anyone be excited about the latest reboot of an '80s property? The trailers look tonally confused, and why is Jacob Tremblay here? But there's one reason I remain hopeful (aside from Boyd Holbrook, Keegan-Michael Key, and Olivia Munn), and it's the person behind the camera: writer/director Shane Black, whose films (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) are some of the most enjoyable comedy/action movies of recent years.
MANDY (Sept. 14th): It is mandated (I assume) in the agreement that Nicolas Cage made with the IRS (pay your taxes kiddies!) that he must release at least one movie performance a year that straddles the line between brilliant and batshit crazy the way only Cage can. In 2016, we got Army Of One; in 2017, there was Mom & Dad; and this year's installment is Mandy. Set in the "primal wilderness" of 1983, Cage plays Red Miller, "a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life." The Guardian says Cage goes "full freakout in gory vengeance thriller"? You had me at "full freakout."
THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Sept. 21st): The great French director Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped , A Prophet, Rust & Bone) makes his English-language debut film, based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt. The film, which Variety described as "a violent Western picaresque that rambles and rough-rides like some quirky horse opera from the '70s," stars John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as the assassin brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters. During the California Gold Rush, they are put on the trail of a prospector (Riz Ahmed) who has stolen from their boss. As he is wont to do in quirky prestige pics, Jake Gyllenhaal shows up as an English detective (also looking for the prospector).
I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW (Sept. 21st): Between her work on Halt & Catch Fire, Billions, and especially The Handmaid's Tale, director Reed Morano has become one of the most evocative young directors of our time. This film, a followup to her under-seen and under-appreciated debut Meadowlands, stars Peter Dinklage as a survivor of an apocalypse who runs into another survivor, played by Elle Fanning.
HOLD THE DARK (Sept. 28th): There are two type of people in this world: those who think Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room is the greatest horror/thriller of the 21st century so far, and those who haven't seen Green Room. Since I am most definitely in the former camp, I am very excited to check out Saulnier's next Netflix movie—starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough and Saulnier muse Macon Blair—and which sounds like his unique variation on The Grey: "After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness."
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (Sept. 28th): Robert Redford has announced his retirement from acting after the release of The Old Man and the Gun, and the early buzz indicates he's chosen a very worthy final film for his illustrious career. Directed by David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon), it's the story of real life bank robber Forrest Tucker, who charmed the public by escaping San Quentin at the age of 70 and embarking on a string of unprecedented heists. It also has a hell of a cast, including Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, and Tom Waits.
A STAR IS BORN (Oct. 5th): Gaga. Cooper. Beards. Songs. Country. Dave Chappelle? No makeup!! It's already been dubbed the greatest achievement in cinema history in a now-deleted early review, so what else do you need to know?
VENOM (Oct. 5th): Is it bad that every time I see the trailer for this upcoming Marvel Comics non-Marvel Studios movie—with its tagline "We Are Venom"—I keep thinking of that jingle, "We are Farmers, dum dah dum dum dum dum dum?" Between Tom Hardy's incomprehensible accent, the Spider-Man-sized hole in the plot, and the fact that every studio not named Marvel that has tried to launch a movie universe before having a hit movie has utterly failed (looking at you, Dark Universe & DC), this could end up being a total disaster. But very likely an entertaining disaster, which are unique and underrated (I will die on the hill that John Carter was actually good). But I hope I'm wrong! Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate deserve all the plum box office roles they can get.
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (Oct. 12th): Drew Goddard has worked on seemingly every other major sci-fi or super hero TV show and/or movie over the last two decades, from Lost to Alias to Buffy, from Cloverfield to The Martian to Daredevil. This film looks most like a spiritual successor to his directorial debut, the horror-comedy The Cabin In The Woods—it also has a hell of a cast, including Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman and Chris Hemsworth. And here's the enticing logline: "Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption—before everything goes to hell."
BEAUTIFUL BOY (Oct. 12th): Based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff and the corresponding Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff, this story of a father struggling with his son's meth addiction could have alternatively been titled Lachrymation: The Movie. Make sure you pack some tissues and some glue (...because it's gonna break your heart, you see?) for Felix Van Groeningen's English debut, which stars Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, and Amy Ryan.
FIRST MAN (Oct. 12th): Director Damien "America Is Terrible" Chazelle reunites with La La Land star Ryan "Ask Me About How I Hate America" Gosling to bring this biopic on communist scum Neil Armstrong to life. How could one film hate flags so much?!?! While the "controversy" around the film is easily the stupidest movie narrative of the year so far, the movie itself looks very good. As Variety wrote in their early review, "The movie redefines what space travel is — the way it lives inside our imaginations — by capturing, for the first time, what the stakes really were."
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (Oct. 19th): Melissa McCarthy is a great comedic actress who keeps taking roles that are beneath her talent, as anyone who has seen The Happytime Murders can attest. But she is shaking things up in a very good way for her next film, in which she plays real life celebrity biographer-turned-forger Lee Israel. Also very promising: it's directed by Marielle Heller, whose last film The Diary of a Teenage Girl was one of the best debuts of the 21st century. Oh, and did we mention that the screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me? was written by none other than Nicole Holofcener?
HALLOWEEN (Oct. 19th): After four decades, Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode to take on Michael Myers one final time (this movie ignores all the sequels since the 1978 original). Directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by fellow horror fan Danny McBride, the two have said they wanted to maintain the atmosphere of the original—and it already has the John Carpenter seal of approval, which bodes well. (Carpenter has also scored the new film.)
WILDLIFE (Oct. 19th): Directed by Paul Dano and co-written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, this movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carrie Mulligan looks like it was ripped straight from the pages of a Richard Ford story... which makes a lot of sense, since it is based on a Richard Ford story. The plot: "In 1960, a boy watches his parents' marriage fall apart after the three of them move to Montana and his mother falls in love with another man." Dano, so brilliant in the likes of There Will Be Blood, has noted that this is the first in a series of films he wants to make about dysfunctional families.
MID90s (Oct. 19th): Movie star, comedian and street fashion icon Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with this A24 film, which is closer in spirit to Kids and Harmony Korine's work than the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen-type movies Hill became famous for starring in. Set in the skate parks of '90s-era LA, it's the culmination of Hill's journey through Hollywood so far, as he told Vulture this week: "I wanted to show what it’s like to try and make your way," Hill says, "and how acceptance happens so gradually or not at all."
SUSPIRIA (Oct. 26th): Based on early reviews out of the Venice Film Festival, Luca Guadagnino's followup to Call Me By Your Name has inspired wildly diverse reactions: is it a bleak, gorgeous reimagining of Dario Argento's horror classic, or a breathtaking achievement in hollow, know-somethingish sensationalism? Is it so self-serious it forgets to scare you, a film of rare and unfettered madness, or not very scary? If it drove star Dakota Johnson to therapy, it must be at least a little freaky. Bonus: Thom Yorke did the soundtrack.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Nov. 2nd): Things were looking dicey for this long-gesturing rock biopic about Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and his band Queen, what with director Bryan Singer being fired from the film due to "mysterious absences" (Dexter Fletcher was hired to complete the film, but Singer will be solely credited on it). But both trailers for the movie have looked fantastic and drummed up a lot of hype for it, and this could turn out to be one of the biggest box office hits of the season (and hopefully they don't ignore Mercury's LGBTQ history).
BOY ERASED (Nov. 2nd): Lucas Hedges has been on a John Cazale-like tear the last couple years, showing up in Manchester By The Sea, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and of course, The Slap (okay, one of those things is not like the others). He continues to prove his excellent taste in roles as the titular boy in this film from writer/director/actor Joel Edgerton, which was adapted from a memoir about a gay teen forced by his Baptist father (Russell Crowe) to attend a conversion-therapy camp.
OVERLORD (Nov. 9th): It looks like a video game adaptation, but it isn't. It looks like it must be an adaptation of something, but it's actually an original film. It's definitely a WWII movie, but it's also a monster flick. It may or may not be a Cloverfield tie-in, but it definitely is a J.J. Abrams-produced mystery box film. And if we're lucky, it may turn out to be the best action flick of the season.
OUTLAW KING (Nov. 9th): Chris Pine gets his own Braveheart, reteaming with Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie for this retelling of the story of Robert the Bruce, who liberated Scotland from King Edward the First. As Rolling Stone wrote, "It’s both an old-school, big-screen historical epic — the kind that has sweeping scenes of armies galloping across huge expanses and lopping off limbs by the dozens — and a sort of scrappy, shaky-cam unofficial sequel to Braveheart."
WIDOWS (Nov. 16th): Directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave, Shame) from a screenplay by McQueen and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects), four widows who have to finish a job when their bank robber spouses are killed during a heist. It has a hell of a cast, including Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo as the widows, and supporting turns from Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Robert Duvall, and Carrie Coon.
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (Nov. 16th): The Coen Brothers' next film was originally supposed to be a Western anthology series for Netflix, but it has since transformed into a six-segment movie project. So it still retains that anthology flavor, but with the added bonus of a theatrical release. Among the segments: Tim Blake Nelson plays the titular sharp-shooting songster; James Franco plays a wannabe bank robber; Liam Neeson stars in a gothic tale about two weary traveling performers; Tom Waits plays a prospector; Zoe Kazan takes a wagon train across the prairies; and "Tyne Daly rains judgment upon a motley crew of strangers undertaking a final carriage ride."
CREED II (Nov. 21st): The first Creed—the seventh installment of the Rocky franchise—was an unexpected delight, with star-making turns from director Ryan Coogler (who went on to direct Black Panther next) and Michael B. Jordan (who is absolutely one of the best young actors alive today). Hopefully this sequel can retain some of that magic, even though it is sadly not directed by Coogler. But at least the plot will continue to mirror the original movies, with Adonis Creed now training in order to defeat the son of Ivan Drago, who killed his father in the ring back in Rocky IV.
THE FAVOURITE (Nov. 23rd): Yorgos Lanthimos has become one of the most polarizing directors of the 21st century with films including Dogtooth, The Lobster and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. Is he a cheap provocateur or a daring visionary? Does he want to punish his audience (like Lars von Trier) or challenge them? His latest movie—which is about the power struggle/love triangle that develops between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and advisors/rivals played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone—at least looks like a lot more fun than his last films, sort of like a royal All About Eve.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (Nov. 30th): Barry Jenkins thankfully didn't wait eight years to followup his Oscar-winning masterpiece Moonlight. Just two years after winning Best Picture, Jenkins returns with this James Baldwin adaptation, which is about a couple in 1970s Harlem, played by Stephan James and Kiki Layne, who are torn apart by a false rape accusation and a racist justice system.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (Dec. 7th): The Favourite isn't the only film this season to dip into British history for a good yarn. Last year's Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie play Mary Stuart and Elizabeth the First, appropriately, as Scotland struggles to break free from England and the crown. This is the costume drama most likely to garner multiple Oscar nominations for its lead actors.
UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (Dec. 7th): The new movie from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell joins a growing list of California stoner noir masterpieces, including The Big Lebowski, The Nice Guys, and the woefully underrated Inherent Vice. Andrew Garfield stars as Sam, who becomes an unwitting detective in-over-his-head after his neighbor Sarah (Riley Keough) disappears: "As he combs through Los Angeles searching for any kind of clues he can find, he stumbles upon a larger, more sinister conspiracy than he ever imagined, involving billionaires, celebrities, urban myths, and even pop culture as we know it."
ROMA (Dec. 14th): It's been five years since director Alfonso Cuarón wowed audiences with Gravity, but he is returning to Earth for this movie, which is said to be his most intimate and personal film yet. It's also already being hailed as a masterpiece. Filmed in black-and-white, it's a semi-autobiographical ("Ninety percent of the scenes are taken out of my memory," he told IndieWire) portrait of a domestic worker and her family navigating the personal and political upheavals of 1970s Mexico City. Vulture called it "a grand, epic tale on the scale of Gone With the Wind."
BACKSEAT (Dec. 14th): There is no trailer yet for Adam McKay's upcoming star-studded Dick Cheney biopic, but who even needs a trailer when you have seen these photos of Christian Bale transforming himself into Cheney? McKay's followup to The Big Short focuses on "the most powerful political figure in modern American history," and also stars Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and Bill Pullman as Nelson Rockefeller.
HOLMES & WATSON (Dec. 21st): Does the world really need another Sherlock Holmes redux? Well, when it means we are getting a reunion of Step Brothers Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, then yes, yes we most definitely do. It's directed and written by Etan Cohen, who previously co-wrote Idiocracy (huh!), Tropic Thunder (nice), Men In Black 3 (um) and Get Hard (woof). But if the film can recapture any of that Ferrell/Reilly magic, it'll be worth it.